Technische Universität Wien
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8th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education
September 3-5, 2014
Vienna, Austria

Call for Abstracts

Building Futures - Equality Challenges in Higher Education: Encouraging Theory and Practise Dialogues

The European conferences on gender equality in higher education have since 1998 regularly brought together hundreds of gender equality practitioners, researchers, administrators and policy makers from Europe and beyond. These conferences provide a unique international forum to discuss and exchange information and experiences, and to share research results on the changes and challenges related to gender in academia, gender equality promotion and interventions in higher education and research institutions.

In September 2014 the Vienna University of Technology invites researchers, university teachers, administrators, policy makers and practitioners and students to attend the 8th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education.

Almost 20 years after the World Conference on Women in Bejing and after 15 years of Gender Mainstreaming in the European Union it is time to reflect critically on the status quo and to develop new strategies for the future. Numerous initiatives have been taken aiming to contribute to gender equality in higher education in Europe and beyond. At the same time globalization, neoliberalism, and new public management have significantly changed academia, leading to new challenges for equality policies.

The conference aims at systematically analysing the status quo and recent experiences with policies promoting gender equality in higher education. The conference addresses different policy levels - organisational, national, European. We want to particularly encourage theoretical and practical dialogues and debates throughout the conference by reflecting upon practical impacts of theoretical discussions and theoretical framing of practical experiences.

The conference focuses on three key aspects of gender equality policies in higher education:

1. Reducing vertical and horizontal segregation: We want to discuss the reasons for the enduring underrepresentation of women in STEM and in top positions as well as related successful policies (conceptualisation, implementation, effects). Why is segregation so difficult to overcome? How to address men to increase their share in academic fields where women are the overwhelming majority?

2. Tackling the gendered Organisation: We want to discuss how to develop new working cultures in academia. This includes science as a profession (i.e. promotion of young academics, precarious working conditions, and mobility), reconciliation of science and care (development of reconciliation cultures), institutional practices (recruiting practices, criteria for evaluation and assessments, new public management), norms and values. Why is it so difficult to change seemingly "objective" and gender-neutral practices? And how to deal with resistance?

3. Integrating gender dimensions in teaching curricula, teacher education, research funding and research practice. What are the barriers to consider gender in a comprehensive way? How to adequately communicate gender competence ? How can innovation be driven by considering gender?

We want to emphasize that we understand"gender" in broad terms and explicitly welcome contributions that take into account intersectional and queer perspectives.

We invite proposals for paper presentations, poster presentations and complete panel proposals. Abstracts and panel proposals are to be submitted exclusively through the online application by 31st January 2014.

Proposals will be reviewed by an international advisory board. Decision on acceptance will be made in March 2014.

It is planned to publish full papers and to summarize the results of the conference in a publication addressing policy makers.